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2913 FAP from Phillips – from swan to ugly duckling

  1. kox

    kox Nov 13, 2017

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    Once upon a time …::book::
    No, this is not the fairy tale by our very own Hans Christian Andersen, but more a reverse version made true by the more shady frankeners in the dark corners of the vintage watch world.

    This bird started out as a beautiful swan in 1961. But became an ugly duckling and in the process ended up like the black swan. It lost its innocence. Its authenticity.

    Back to the real world: Lot 201 from yesterdays Phillips auction. Reference 2913 (-7 as it turns out). Serial 16684517. Produced on 28. April 1961. FAP marked and confirmed delivered to the Peruvian Air Forces.

    2913-7 serie 16684517 nu phillips nov 17 solgt for 56t chf inkl fee x cal 501 17J 28april 1961.JPG


    What’s not to like? When I first saw it I thought ”a nice one and a very very strong result”. Then I looked closer and checked the serial with the ones in my archieves… and here’s what I found:

    Serial and caseback scratches are the same throughout the history, but the face, oh the face. What a horror. For the record, I have no doubt that this is/was a 2913 FAP issued watch. The serial range is within the know range. Caseback marking is correct. It has the correct type of hands etc. BUT the transformation over the years ::censored::. Sellers pictures below are bad, but can’t hide the obvious.

    2913-7 serie 16684517 FAP compare  .png

    #1 For sale on chrono24 (2015). Repainted or fake dial and no bezel inlay. Extract states delivery to Peru only.

    #2 For sale on chrono24 (2016, same seller)
    . Dial replaced with a correct, but very tired one.

    #3 For sale on chrono24 and here on OF (2016, same seller). Now with a bezel “inlay”, which seems to have issues. Looks like the chinese aluminum reproductions.

    #4 For sale on the Phillips auction (2017, new seller properly). Now with a nice correct dial and a nicer redone bezel. Perhaps lume touch-up. Hard to tell from one picture. No movement shot, but text states a cal. 501 17Jewels !? (US version cal 500) Properly just a typo (earlier add shows 19J cal 501 which is ok). Extract now states delivery to Peruvian Air Forces (new policy at Omega Museum to include more notes). Same serial and still same caseback.

    2913-7 serie 16684517 FAP compare   .png

    Looks good right :rolleyes: Realised price is CHF 56t. :eek:
    Sellers asking in 2016 was Euro 17t. (which was high enough for this condition). CHF 56t. !!! More than the perhaps most wanted SM300 of them all, a Conself ll 165.024 sold at Christies today for CHF 50t.

    From the phillips auction text: The present example is preserved in most attractive and original condition “

    So whats the moral of the story. Is it a problem that the parts have been changed - clearly to help sales? Well, no, not if you disclose it. The previous owner/dealer didn’t and the auction house didn’t/didn’t know or didn’t run a simple check on the interwebs and now it is sanctions by them. Talk about authenticity laundering.

    Well, perhaps the buyer don’t care and just enjoy the watch for what it is. Right :(

    We all know that a 100% autenthic vintage watch is a hard claim. No one really knows if parts have been swapped in the last 60 years. And if the parts are correct for the reference/serial, perhaps that’s fine, as long as you don’t know. BUT when the truth comes out, it’s stigmatized – from a collectors point of view. From my point of view.

    /The end

    P.S.: sorry for the buyer if he DOES care, but especially at this price level, someone should tell the truth, since it’s cleary now more an investment piece. No real collector at this level would have neglected to do the basic research before a bidding war.

    P.S.S.: And all the frankeners who think they can get away with it, didn't live happily ever after :whipped:
     
    izydor, Morlock, DaveK and 121 others like this.
  2. cristos71

    cristos71 Nov 13, 2017

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    Excellent detective work that makes me very happy to remain in my small shallow pond of three and small four figure watches!
     
    jimmyjay, watch3s, JohnLy and 18 others like this.
  3. jumpingsecond

    jumpingsecond Nov 13, 2017

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    Pretty damn good investigative work detective @kox :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:.

    Moral seems always the same no matter where it comes from or who tells the story - caveat emptor
     
  4. CajunTiger

    CajunTiger Cajuns and Gators can't read newspapers! Nov 13, 2017

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    wow!!!

    Great work @kox
     
  5. watchknut

    watchknut New watch + Instagram + wife = dumbass Nov 13, 2017

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    Wow...wow...wow.

    Excellent work as always.

    Makes me glad that mine is right as rain from the original owner's family with no BS behind it.
     
    KstateSkier, blubarb, Longbow and 6 others like this.
  6. Larry S

    Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Nov 13, 2017

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    So many examples of built watches going for huge money. Very hard to research when the are up for auction. One give away for me is that most legit examples are pretty chewed up.
     
    JohnLy and SgWatchBaron like this.
  7. Dgercp

    Dgercp Nov 13, 2017

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    All I can say @kox is tell me your fee for vetting my next purchase :).
    From now on I'm sticking to watches that look like crap :)
     
  8. SgWatchBaron

    SgWatchBaron Nov 13, 2017

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    Damn! Way to go @kox ! I had doubts about the bezel, but was assured that it was genuine. Little did I know, the entire watch was pieced together.
     
    watchyouwant, Dre, Longbow and 3 others like this.
  9. gemini4

    gemini4 Hoarder Of Speed Nov 13, 2017

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    I’ve been asking Kim (@kox) to PLEASE write, Seamaster 300 Only. Or start Seamaster300.com. Perhaps if others beg, he would do it. :)
     
  10. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Nov 13, 2017

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    OF phrase of the year IMO...

    Great work!
     
  11. SgWatchBaron

    SgWatchBaron Nov 13, 2017

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    Highest praise ever received on OF for sure!
     
    Greatpa and blubarb like this.
  12. Ninja2789

    Ninja2789 Nov 13, 2017

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    man, more and more I think people need to realize that it's always buyer beware. Doesn't matter if it's on the internet or through one of the most respectable auction houses out there.

    Myself, I'm generally sympathetic to a restoration provided it's done with care and with period correct elements. However, I NEVER expect such a correct example to be more expensive than a comparable one in similar and original condition. Just crazy here.
     
    watch3s and SgWatchBaron like this.
  13. CajunTiger

    CajunTiger Cajuns and Gators can't read newspapers! Nov 13, 2017

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    Feel sorry for the poor schmuck who paid nearly 60 grand for this...this is one reason 80% of my collection comes from original owners or family of original owner...while it doesn't guarantee anything, it sure makes me feel better :)
     
  14. eugeneandresson

    eugeneandresson Nov 13, 2017

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    We can all learn from you. Well done. I would love to buy you a beer. Cheers!
     
    wkimmd and kox like this.
  15. CajunTiger

    CajunTiger Cajuns and Gators can't read newspapers! Nov 13, 2017

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    and WTF??
    Was the buyer blind too?
     
  16. #nb

    #nb Nov 13, 2017

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    Not sure if the buyer follows the OF but based on your research (and assuming you are correct) it seems that Phillips might have to take this piece back. This is clearly a misrepresentation and against the auction's bylaws.
     
    marco, JimJupiter and SgWatchBaron like this.
  17. gemini4

    gemini4 Hoarder Of Speed Nov 13, 2017

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    Sir @kox
    Defender Of The Realm
     
    Edited Nov 13, 2017
  18. Divetimer

    Divetimer Nov 13, 2017

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    Great work. I was worried about the watch from the fact that the caseback shows wear and tear . . . but everything else looks perfect. It didn't quite fit together. Now we know the reason.
     
    watchyouwant and SgWatchBaron like this.
  19. smitty190373

    smitty190373 Nov 13, 2017

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    Please @kox, write Seamaster 300 Only. Or start Seamaster300.com
     
  20. watchknut

    watchknut New watch + Instagram + wife = dumbass Nov 13, 2017

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    Pretty please with a tritium pip on top:)